New study reveals that the world’s oceans have lost 2 percent of their oxygen
Climate change is influencing the oceans breathability
You are probably aware of the impact of Climate Change on ice caps and glaciers. But did you also know that Climate change is having more impacts than just melting ice caps? It is influencing the breathability of the ecosystems, our oceans, which are covering 70 percent of our planet. Climate Change decreases oceans oxygen levels. t
What do scientists say about the change of the ocean oxygen concentration?
A study published in Nature, calculated that the world’s oceans have lost an average 2 percent of their oxygen. The study used data collected in the past 5 decades (1960-2010). Two percent, might not sound a lot to you. But researchers underline that even a small change of the ocean oxygen concentration can alter some marine ecosystems. They state that such a decline “in the oceanic oxygen content could affect ocean nutrient cycles and the marine habitat, with potentially detrimental consequences for fisheries and coastal economies”. Hence, we should be alarmed that Climate Change decreases oceans oxygen levels has such an effect on the marine environment.
How does an oxygen decrease affect the ocean ecosystem and its inhabitants?
Oxygen is essential to most life in the ocean. In conclusion, an oxygen decrease can probably cause habitat loss for many fish and invertebrate species. The Ocean climate researcher Denis Gilbert at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute of Fisheries and Oceans Canada states in a response in the journal Nature:
“Most marine organisms require oxygen to survive. A 2% decrease of ocean oxygen content may not sound like much, but the implications of this for marine ecosystems could be severe in parts of the ocean where oxygen is already low, such as oxygen minimum zones, because critical survival thresholds may be crossed. Moreover, when other stress factors associated with Global Warming — such as increased CO2 and warmer waters — combine with lower oxygen levels, the cumulative effects on marine life can be even worse.”
Why should we humans care?
Most noteworthy, our oceans are buffering the impacts of climate change by absorbing about 30 percent of carbon dioxide produced by humans. Over 3 billion people depend on our oceans and the marine ecosystems for their livelihoods. Therefore, these findings should ring more the alarm bells about the consequences of global warming. Climate Change will have as a result both direct and indirect effect not only on the 3 billion people but on all of us.